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Medicinal-Plants: Publications and Research from SwissMixIt

Medicinal Plants Botanical Information

Plants have always been a common source of medicaments, either in the form of traditional preparations or as pure active principles.

Medicinal plants are used throughout the world, and the regulations defining their proper use, such as identification of the correct species and verification of the presence, purity and concentration of the required chemical compounds, are widely recognized. Herbal medicines are made from vegetal drugs, the processed products of medicinal species.

Plants have served mankind as an important source of foods and medicines. While we all consume plants and their products for nutritional support, a majority of the world population also rely on botanical remedies to meet their health needs, either as their own traditional medicine or as complementary and alternative medicine.

Keywords: plant natural product, drug discovery, human health, medicinal plants, herbal medicines, adverse reactions, monitoring safety, challenges, public health, Prevention, Strategy, Primary Health Care, evidence based medicince, explanatory trials, herbal medicine, mainstream medicine, phytotherapy, pragmatic trials, traditional medical system, traditional medicine

Description and Research Abstract: Plants have always been a common source of medicaments, either in the form of traditional preparations or as pure active principles.

Medicinal plants are used throughout the world, and the regulations defining their proper use, such as identification of the correct species and verification of the presence, purity and concentration of the required chemical compounds, are widely recognized. Herbal medicines are made from vegetal drugs, the processed products of medicinal species.

Plants have served mankind as an important source of foods and medicines. While we all consume plants and their products for nutritional support, a majority of the world population also rely on botanical remedies to meet their health needs, either as their own traditional medicine or as complementary and alternative medicine.

From the pharmaceutical point of view, many compounds obtained from plant sources have long been known to possess bio pharmacological activities, and historically plants have yielded many important drugs for human use, from morphine discovered in the early nineteenth century to the more recent paclitaxel and artemisinin.

The use of herbal medicinal products and supplements has increased tremendously over the past three decades with not less than 80 percent of people worldwide relying on them for some part of primary healthcare. Although therapies involving these agents have shown promising potential with the efficacy of a good number of herbal products clearly established, many of them remain untested and their use are either poorly monitored or not even monitored at all.

Medicinal plants have been used in healthcare since time immemorial. Studies have been carried out globally to verify their efficacy and some of the findings have led to the production of plant-based medicines. The global market value of medicinal plant products exceeds $100 billion per annum.

Herbal medicine is the use of medicinal plants for prevention and treatment of diseases: it ranges from traditional and popular medicines of every country to the use of standardized and tritated herbal extracts. Generally cultural rootedness enduring and widespread use in a Traditional Medical System may indicate safety, but not efficacy of treatments, especially in herbal medicine where tradition is almost completely based on remedies containing active principles at very low and ultra low concentrations, or relying on magical-energetic principles.

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